October 1, 1918 Lawrence of Arabia – Today in History

I have been in hospital for two weeks, hence the gap in transmission.

Lawrence tried to convince his superiors that Arab independence was in their own best interest, but found himself undermined by the Sykes-Picot agreement, negotiated in secret between French and Br…

Source: October 1, 1918 Lawrence of Arabia – Today in History

August 10, 1920, Ottoman Empire – Today in History

Throughout the period, the “secret sauce” of Ottoman power was an army of élite infantry called “Janissaries”.  Janissaries were Christian slaves, usually taken as spoils of…

Source: August 10, 1920, Ottoman Empire – Today in History

A precedent for the Holocaust: The Armenian genocide and The Promise | Literaturesalon’s Blog

by Claudia Moscovici

As Peter Balakian points out in the Preface of his book, The Burning Tigris: The Armenian genocide and America’s response (New York: Harper Perennial, 2004), the Holocau…

Source: A precedent for the Holocaust: The Armenian genocide and The Promise | Literaturesalon’s Blog

Sir Mark Sykes and a Lead Coffin | The Immortal Jukebox

mark-sykes-001‘At a solemn service before sunset in a rural Yorkshire churchyard, a battered lead-lined coffin was reburied hours after being opened for the first time in 89 years. As prayers were recited, samples of the remains of Sir Mark Sykes, the aristocratic diplomat and adventurer whose grave had been exhumed, were being frozen in liquid nitrogen and transported to a laboratory with the aim of saving millions of lives.

During his life, Sir Tatton Benvenuto Mark Sykes made his mark on the world map. As the British government’s lead negotiator in a secret 1916 deal with France to carve up the Ottoman Empire, he laid the groundwork for the boundaries of much of the present-day Middle East and, according to some critics, its current conflicts.

But it was the manner of the death of this Conservative MP, British Army general, and father of six children, that may yet prove the source of his most significant legacy by providing key answers in how medical science can cope with 21st-century lethal flu pandemics.

Early in 1919, Sir Mark became one of the estimated 50 million victims of the so-called Spanish flu and died in Paris.

His remains were sealed in a lead-lined coffin and transported to the Sykes family seat in Yorkshire. He was buried in the graveyard of St Mary’s Church, adjoining the house.

Were it not for the fact that Sir Mark’s body was hermetically sealed by a thick layer of lead, the story of his life would have passed quietly into history.

But the accident of chemistry – the decay of soft tissue encased in lead is dramatically slowed – has presented scientists investigating ways to deal with the inevitable mutation of the H5N1 “bird flu” into a lethal human virus with a unique opportunity to study the behaviour of its predecessor.

There are only five useful samples of the H1N1 virus around the world and none from a well-preserved body in a lead-lined coffin. Sir Mark’s descendants are delighted that his influence may reach a different sphere of human endeavour. His grandson, Christopher Sykes, said: “We were all agreed that it was a very good thing and should go ahead. It is rather fascinating that maybe even in his state as a corpse, he might be helping the world in some way.”

Source: Curtis Mayfield & Major Lance express the inexpressible : Um, um, um, um, um, um! | The Immortal Jukebox

Was the Ottoman Empire really history’s longest-lasting empire? | Byzantine Blog

The majesty of Istanbul’s ‘Blue Mosque’ (Tetra Images/Getty Images)

It was one of the most resilient empires in world history, but how did it start? And why did it end?

This article was first published in the May 2016 issue of History Revealed

Was the Ottoman Empire really history’s longest-lasting empire?

That’s a debate that is hard to fit into a nutshell. But, the ever-changing world power – an Islāmic network of countries comprising much of the Mediterranean coast (besides Italy) – began in 1299 and did not conclude until 1922.

This means that it certainly outstripped the British Empire in terms of…

Source: Was the Ottoman Empire really history’s longest-lasting empire? | Byzantine Blog

March 25th: celebrating the Annunciation and the War of Independence | Letters from Athens

One of our main national celebrations in Greece is March 25, which commemorates the start of the 1821 Greek Revolution against the Ottoman Empire, a revolt whose motto was the cry “Freedom or death.”

Following the fall of Constantinople in 1453, Greece remained under Turkish occupation for four centuries. After a number of unsuccessful attempts at revolt, the War of Independence started in 1821. Despite many reversals, this would lead to the establishment of a Greek sovereign state with the London Protocol of 1830, signed by England, France and Russia – the allies who intervened to help win the war. The Greek struggle had elicited strong sympathy in Europe, and many leading intellectuals had promoted the Greek cause, including…

Source: March 25th: celebrating the Annunciation and the War of Independence | Letters from Athens

27 of August 1922 Greco-Turkish War #onthisday

5 of August 1824 Greek War of Independence #Onthisday | GroovyHistorian

Originally posted on GroovyHistorian.

5 of August , 1824 : Greek War of independence : Constantine Kanaris leads a Greek fleet to victory against Ottoman and Egyptian Ships in the battle of Samos. via 5 of August 1824 Greek War of Independence #Onthisday | GroovyHistorian.